Torgulbin: Kepppoch Macdonald home?

Tòrgulbin, Keppoch Macdonald home?

I found the photograph above of Tòrgulbin, which is near the bottom of Loch Laggan. I think my great great great grandfather Angus MacDonell, of Keppoch, was born here. The photograph on on has the following information:

Torgulbin Former shepherd’s house now rendered redundant by the forestry. Appears to be a holiday home. Creag Meagaidh beyond.

Looks a bit big to be a shepherd’s house and I can only see two other house nearby which looking on Street Map below would seem to be Luiblea across the bridge and Moy Lodge on the other side of the Spean. So I’m guessing this is where my Keppoch ancestors lived.

Tòrgulbin is a derivation of Torr à Ghuilbinn. It’s at the North Eastern end of Glen Spean between where Loch Laggan meets Loch Moy by a bridge over the Abhainn Ghuilbinn (Abhainn is River in gaelic); next to Torr à Ghuilbinn (Torr is little hill in gaelic), which is downstream from Loch Ghuilbinn. I’m getting lost in attempting to translating Ghuilbinn, as ‘binn’ can mean ‘sweet sound’ or ‘tuneful’ as an adjective, but ‘sentence’ or ‘judgement’ as a noun.  Whereas I think ‘ghuil’ means ‘cry’ or ‘howl’. Perhaps it means something like ‘sweet tears’?

According to my cousin Hamish’s records Angus’s father Donald Macdonell died in Torgulbin in 1834. I presume he moved here when one his older brother’s inherited the farm at Inch or Insse because his wife was his cousin Anne MacDonald,  and father Patrick MacDonald, Rev of Kilmore, which is Argll & Bute and he was from Durness in Sutherlandshire.

Update 21/8/2013: I just found the following in the Rev. Angus & Archibald MacDonald’s book The Clan Donald: Volume 3:

Angus Ban. He married Christina Mackintosh, and lived latterly at Torgulbin. He had—
1. Angus, who has the farm of Inch, and is unmarried.

Update 22/8/2013: The Highland Council site has record for Torgulbin and refers to it as a 19th-century house which is depicted on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map c.1876. It estimates that the house built at some time in the 19th Century between 1801-1876). See more notes on Macdonald/Macdonells at Torgulbin in my Long John Macdonald, of Torgulbin? post.

Torgulbin, Highlands

One thought on “Torgulbin: Kepppoch Macdonald home?

  1. From Michael Scott’s “The Rankin Brothers of Tumut”, pg 4.
    “Torgulbin Cottage, as it is called, was quite a large house, with four good-sized rooms downstairs and bedrooms with dormer windows above. Standing on the lower slopes of Torgulbin (literally the hill of Gulbin), it looked down on the Gulbin river just about a mile above its junction with the Spean near the western end of loch Taggan and, as the eye lifted up to a majestic range of mountains to the north. There was very good pasture on the river flats and plenty of rough grazing on the hill above. Recently, the Scottish Forestry Commission, which now owns the Land, has renovated the cottage and the high land above and to the south of it is covered by a mature pine forest in which the native deer are encouraged to roam in safety. It was to this cottage that John Dubh [MacDonald] brought his bride, Catherine, after their wedding.”

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